Most octogenarians enlist the help of their children and grandchildren to learn how to use their iPad because catching up on the latest technology does not come easily to them. But for Marvin Turk, a visually challenged 94-year old American artist currently living in Israel, learning how to use the OrCam MyEye came to him as swiftly as a single brushstroke. Now he can read independently despite his progressing macular degeneration.
Turk is a U.S. Army Veteran who served during World War II. He spent most of his life in Palm Beach County, Florida with his wife and three children, and ran a successful business in Florida building residential homes. As a side hobby, he studied art at local private art schools, eventually turning art into a full-time career. Turk focuses his art on kinetic symbolism, a study of the movement of dancers and horses which he would normally start off by sketching. However, once his vision deteriorated, he was no longer able to sketch.
Discovering OrCam MyEye
Before he discovered OrCam MyEye, Marvin had been wearing a pair of glasses with a light on the left side to assist his left eye, but he couldn’t read more than a few words at a time this way. Once he purchased the OrCam MyEye, suddenly “I was able to read a book in the library near where we live, and [I was] also able to read the newspaper,” he says.
“I felt that I finally found something that, using my Bluetooth ear [phones, I could use] in the library so [that] I don’t disturb people,” says Turk. He also uses the OrCam inside his apartment, which he shares with his wife, to read books. The OrCam MyEye has an advanced13-megapixel smart camera that takes a picture of the text and instantly converts it into audio for transmission through a tiny speaker that rests above the wearer’s ear.
For the visually impaired, and especially those whose vision has gotten progressively worse over the course of a lifetime, getting used to reading via audio books can be challenging. Turk describes the way he feels since purchasing an OrCam MyEye as “liberated.” “The OrCam [MyEye] helps me as my eyes progressively get worse. Since I’ve been using OrCam [MyEye], I feel more liberated because the [device] provides me with a means of reading the news… I can also read books [so] I don’t have to depend on audio books.” The OrCam MyEye has features such as interactive reading that lets the user read only the text that interests them using voice commands such as “read headlines”, “read phone numbers” or “find” a specific word.
What OrCam MyEye Means for Visually Challenged People
Stories like Turk’s are inspiring for people of all ages and can give hope to people who are struggling with the feeling of loss of independence or frustration with their visual challenges. When it comes to his OrCam MyEye device, Turk says “Liberating is the term I feel [describes it best]. I enjoy using it very much. In a way, it’s changed my life. Eventually, I will be sightless, and in the meantime, I learned that the OrCam MyEye can provide me with a more independent feeling.”
If you’re interested in exploring how the OrCam MyEye can help you, submit your contact info below and a representative will be in touch with you.